After Yu Lang and Lian Zhong made their pact, Yu Lang pulled out a bamboo whistle and blew a reedy and shrill sound out into the mist.
Zhao Kuo immediately redoubled his struggles upon hearing the sound. The four Eastpool students struggled grimly to pin him down.
Zhao Kuo's face was red from exertion, his tears streaming from frustration. He stared dementedly at Yu Lang as if he wished he could swallow him whole.
Seeing such a reaction from Zhao Kuo assuaged the last vestiges of Lian Zhong's suspicions. Relaxing, he was sold by Yu Lang's despicability.
That guy didn't have the slightest bit of backbone in him.
Still, that suited him just fine.
Lian Zhong ordered. Yu Lang began to shuffle forward obediently.
Within the gradually dissipating mist, Li Luo's eyes flew open.
He heard some whistles.
He frowned slightly to himself, his fingers tapping against the trunk of a tree as he listened to the whistles.
"Five? Probably Lian Zhong? Unlucky for those two," he murmured to himself. Before their fishing commenced, Li Luo had established some simple protocols with the others. One of them was a rudimentary signal system.
If such a situation arose, those still free would embark on a rescue operation as soon as possible. If the enemy was too strong, they would enlist the help of other Southwind Academy students.
Li Luo's mouth hardened, his fists curling around the hilts of his swords. A cold look crept into his eyes.
"I let you go the other time. Did you think I couldn't deal with you?"
Li Luo turned, heading towards the direction of the whistle without hesitation. He vanished into the fog.
Within the fog, a few figures were slowly moving forward.
In front, Lian Zhong was pressed up against Yu Lang. Behind, the four Eastpool students with Zhao Kuo wedged between them.
The whistle continued to ring out.
Lian Zhong scowled. "Where the hell is he?"
"The fog's so damn big," Yu Lang grumbled back irritably. "Maybe he ran really far away?"
"Hurry up, then," Lian Zhong snapped. "You're wasting our time."
Yu Lang hurriedly complied, blowing the whistle as hard as he could.
Unnoticed behind them, something stirred in the mist. A faint blur of watery light. While all eyes were forward, a palm stretched out from the mist and clamped down over the mouth of the person furthest back. A fist crashed into his temple and then unconsciousness followed.
The other three Eastpool students reacted immediately. "AMBUSH!"
Ahead, Lian Zhong whirled about, angry and fearful. He turned straight into a blue ball of light sailing into his face.
It exploded in a blinding light.
Those caught by it cried out and shut their eyes, feeling as though their eyeballs had been stabbed.
Zhao Kuo, who had shut his eyes in time, barged his way past three others and disappeared into the fog.
"Fuck, we've been had!"
Lian Zhong swore. In his rage, he swung his cleaver down at Yu Lang.
But a slight push off the balls of his feet, helped along by his wind resonant power, and Yu Lang was clear of the swing.
"Haha, a donkey trying to catch the wind?"
Yu Lang taunted him. He also vanished into the mist.
Lian Zhong's face was ugly to look at. His yellow resonant power exploded from his body, scything out in the direction that Yu Lang had come from.
A pair of shortswords imbued with blue light countered in response.
Lian Zhong gripped his cleaver tightly, staring deep into the mist.
Li Luo emerged, twin swords in hand. He was smiling straight at him, Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang flanking him.
"You dare to trick me?" Lian Zhong glared at Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo. He knew now that there must have been messages hidden in the whistles. He had come, but he had come forewarned, rumbling their ambush and turning the situation.
Yu Lang sighed softly. "Brother, it was not deception. It was just... business!"
He batted his eyelashes at Lian Zhong meaningfully, “You wanna... up the bid?”
Lian Zhong's face was red, his breathing labored and his eyes wild.
"Hey, this guy is pawing like an enraged bull. Should we retreat? The mist is going to fade soon," Yu Lang said anxiously.
Li Luo did not budge. "Retreat?" He laughed. "I took great effort to get this big fish to bite. I'm not about to release it."
Yu Lang's jaw dropped. "Did you smear lard all over your eyeballs? Are you seeing this guy? Eighth Seal, and he has three helpers with him."
"You two handle those three. No problems, I assume?" Li Luo asked.
"You're for real?" Yu Lang was sobering up real quick.
Li Luo's eyes were locked on Lian Zhong. He nodded lightly. "He's worn on my patience long enough. It's about time he paid the price."
Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo looked at each other for a long moment before finally nodding slowly.
"Just as well. I've wanted to take down these bastards for a while now." Zhao Kuo's eyes lit up with pleasure. His axe whooshed a few trial swings.
On the other side, the angry Lian Zhong was in disbelief.
"You're not running?" He could not understand it.
Li Luo had gone to great pains to save Zhao Kuo and Yu Lang. They should be fleeing into the mist now, the most rational of options. But Li Luo seemed ready to fight him.
Did his handsome looks absorb all his brain cells?
Hefting his cleaver, Lian Zhong swished it lightly through the air. He turned to Li Luo, and the smile on his face hardened cruelly.
"Li Luo, don't think I won't dare to lay hands on you just because you're the Young Lord or something. If you lose here, the only one that falls is House Luolan."
Li Luo smiled slightly. "Don't be too quick to jump to conclusions. It’s embarrassing when the tables turn, you know?"
"Oh? You think you're that good?" Lian Zhong sneered. He beckoned to the other three. "Yu Lang and Zhao Kuo are yours. I'll deal with Li Luo."
The three complied. Seventh Seals, three on two—there was nothing to be afraid of.
"We'll go first. Take care of yourself. Give us the signal if you're out of your depth, and we'll find a way to extricate," Yu Lang assured him in a low voice before bounding after Zhao Kuo in another direction.
The three opponents followed.
As they drew apart, only Li Luo and Lian Zhong were left here now.
Lian Zhong looked at Li Luo with a mixture of disdain and cruel pleasure. This time, he wasted no more words. His yellow resonant power burst forth with the skill of an Eighth Seal cultivator.
An intimidating presence indeed.
"Li Luo, too late to regret now!"
"Watch me turn your face into minced meat!"
As he shrieked his laughter, Lian Zhong surged forward, his blade gleaming with yellow light as it delivered a brutal chop towards Li Luo.Previous Chapter Next Chapter